CN Traveller just announced southwest Michigan as one of their 20 top destinations of 2020 (in the world!), focusing on the communities of Fennville and Saugatuck. It’s easy to see why, though not surprising for those who call this beautiful part of the state home. It’s a region that can boast sandy beaches, stunning lighthouses, a booming wine and beer industry, quaint antique shops, and homey small towns.
As you think ahead to the return of warmer days, whether it’s to get through the chilly winter ones or you’re excitedly making plans for next season, spring is the perfect time to visit the largest town in southwest Michigan: Grand Rapids. And best of all, Fennville and Saugatuck are just a short drive away.
Go on a craft beer walking tour.
Grand Rapids has been officially dubbed Beer City, USA, thanks to national polls and USA TODAY readers. The town is very proud of its approximately 40 craft breweries, the largest concentration of breweries in southwest Michigan. Some of them require a short drive to reach, but when the warm weather comes in, it’s time for a walking tour – guided or self-guided – of some of the city’s best pubs and breweries on the Ale Trail. Many breweries offer tours of their facilities as well as tasting flights and discounts on food or merchandise.
… of art and nature. That’s according to the website for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a one-of-a-kind and internationally acclaimed horticultural display. There is a permanent art collection both indoors and outdoors as well as temporary exhibits that develop annually. Of the plants, the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory has over 500 species from five continents. Then there’s the Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden, full of colors and textures year-round. There’s a children’s garden where kids can get their hands dirty, and numerous exhibitions throughout the year (i.e., butterflies in the Tropical Conservatory in March and April). That’s just a taste. Visit the website to see what else is you can discover on your visit.
Become friends with a giraffe.
John Ball Zoo is one of the main attractions in Grand Rapids. See animals, reptiles, amphibians, aquatic life, and birds from across the globe up close. The zoo also offers experiences, such as a zip-line. It’s a great way to spend a spring day, when the weather is moderate enough that it’s easy to walk around outside for hours.
Drive amongst the blossoms.
True, you need to get out of the city proper to enjoy fields full of fresh blossoms, but you don’t need to travel far. Southwest Michigan has acres of fruit trees of all varieties and shades, plus nature is built into the overall architecture of the city so the streets are lined with blossom trees, too. The peak time is the end of April, beginning of May. Many businesses and farmsteads have special events during this time, a time of celebration of the beauty of spring and the future bounty it predicts. Even better, drive with the windows down to catch the breeze coming off of Lake Michigan.
To find a private campground, RV dealer, or RV supplier in the southwest region of Michigan, visit our online interactive map. Click on a member and then search for activities nearest them: http://www.michiganrvandcampgrounds.org/southwest-region-map/.